According to Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, Bud Selig will appear in Kansas City on Wednesday to officially award the 2012 All-Star Game to the Royals and Kauffman Stadium. This will be the first All-Star Game in Kansas City since the stadium’s inaugural season in 1973.
Let’s hope that by 2012, the Royals will be in contention with the help of some old favorites like Zack Greinke, Billy Butler and Joakim Soria and some of the game’s brightest young stars like Mike Montgomery, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers. I’m not holding my breath here, but it would be great for the game.
While the 2012 All-Star Game announcement has been anticipated since last summer, Bob Nightengale of USA Today adds that the Mets will host the All-Star Game in 2013, while the Twins will host in 2014 and the Nationals in 2015. Selig is expected to make these announcements on a year-to-year basis. As discussed thoroughly on this blog due to the immigration issue, next year’s All-Star Game will take place in Phoenix.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.